fiber optics

Fiber Optics Technology in the Modern World: A Magical Wonder to Be Sure

May 13, 2015

What is fiber optics?

You go pick up the phone, call your friend o colleague and get the information you need across. Rarely do you think about the process; how does that information come across?

Well, when we speak on a landline phone, a wire cable carries the sound from your voice into the socket of the wall, then into the local telephone exchange. The Cellphone works a little differently. It sends the information through radio waves.

Fiber optics, used for Internet connectivity works a little differently. This is the high tech of communications, the magic if you will. This sends information through a beam of light down a plastic pipe or glass. Now that sounds magical doesn’t it?

The History

Fiber optics was invented in the 1950s. The purpose was to help doctors so they could see inside the body without needing surgery. However in the 1960s, engineers also saw a way to use this in communications, allowing these to transmit at the speed of light.

The Specs

A cable that is fiber-optic is made up 100 very thin strands of glass or plastic cables; each much thinner than even a strand of hair, and each can carry as many as 10 million telephone calls.

Fiber-optics carries information on an optical, light-based technology, making it much, much faster.

How fiber-optics works

In each of the cables light travels across it bouncing off the cable walls. Each of the photons travles along the pipe bouncing off of it and reflecting back again. This is because the glass or plastic works much like a mirror keeping the light in the cable.

These optical cables or fibers carry the light signals through them in a mode which is just a path. The simplest kind of fiber is one that is called a single-mode which is very think and has a single ode fiber. It’s here where a signal travels straight through the middle without boucing off the edges. Generally, the Internet, Cable TV and telephone signals are carried by this type of fiber and each can send information for about 60 miles.

Another kind of fiber-optic is called the multi-mode and these are the ones we are accustomed to seeing come out of our computer. These fibers are combined into a larger cable, these are purple, green, and blue lines that use a multiple of different modes. These send information only over short distances, and are generally used to network computers together.

Bottom Line

When you have an office and need to connect the computers and phone equipment so employees can access the data, you need to use fiber optic cabling to get the fastest connection. Yes, Wi-Fi and the cloud work, but these tend to slow down the traveling information because they only work off of radio signals, and not high speed fiber optics. So if speed is an issue you really must look into equipment connections through magical fiber optic cabling.

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